Friday, August 29, 2014

Autumn Art: Fall Leaf Mobile

Fall is in the air and it’s time for more autumn art! Earlier in the week I posted a color change leaf activity. I also promised to add on to the paint splatter project. If you didn’t read how to turn green leaves into red, orange and yellow Jackson Pollock style mini masterpieces, go back and check it out right now. Seriously, now. This how-to starts off where that one leaves (no pun intended – well, maybe it is) off.

Fall Art

After your little artist splatters, splishes and spots her way to a few artful autumn leaves, she’s ready to turn them into a marvelous mobile. Before you get into the art-making, take a beat to stop and talk about the science of mobiles. Explore how gravity and motion come into play when your child makes a piece of kinetic art. Ask her a few open-ended questions such as:

·        What do you think will happen to the mobile when the wind blows?

·        If you gently push the mobile, what will happen?

·        Why do you think the mobile moves?

·        Do you think that each side of the mobile will move the same? Why or why not?

·        How can we get the mobile to stay in the air?

After your science talk, it’s time or the art part.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        Your child’s color change paint splatter leaves – make at least four.

Fall Crafts

·        Two sticks or wooden dowels

·        Yarn

·        Scissors

·        A hole punch

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Punch a hole at one end of each leaf.
Fall Craft

2.     Cut a piece if yarn per leaf. Vary the lengths.

3.     Thread a piece of yarn through each leaf. Help your child to tie the ends.
Leaf crafts

4.     Make a plus sign with the sticks or dowels.
Craft mobile

5.     Wrap another piece of yarn around the center of the plus sign. Have your child weave it around the place where the sticks cross in an over-under pattern. Tie the end of the yarn.

6.     Tie each leaf to an end of the plus sign.

7.     Create a hanger. Tie another piece of yarn to the center of the plus sign, leaving the other end loose.
Kinetic art

Hang the mobile! Take it outside and hang it from a tree branch to watch it sway in the wind. If the weather gets wet, bring the movable art inside. The tempera on the leaves will run in the rain. Your child can explore and experiment with movement indoors by blowing the fall leaf mobile with her breath or pushing it around with her hands.
Movable art

Are you looking for more science and art activities? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!

Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Preschool Art and Science Activities on Pinterest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Learning Left: Kids' Letter L Art Activity

Learning left from right isn’t always easy. Sometimes even the older kids who I teach mix them up and I find myself saying, “Nope, try your other left.” Even though struggling to learn directions is perfectly normal, I’ve always found that the easiest fix is to get hands-on – literally.
Left and right

Ask your child to hold both hands out in front of his body, palms down. Have him hold his fingers tight together and extend his thumbs out horizontally. Which hand makes the letter L? The left hand! Add on an alphabet art activity to reinforce this concept and help him to remember right and left.
Direction activity

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        Tempera paints

·        A paper plate

·        A paintbrush

·        Paper

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Pour a golf ball-sized pool (or a few) of tempera paint onto a paper plate.  Use your child’s favorite hues or add in a color mixing activity and use the primaries – red, yellow and blue.
Kids' art

2.     Repeat the letter L hand activity and have your child make the “L” shape with his hand.

3.     Paint the L. There are two options that your child can try. Pick one or do this activity a few times, trying both. Your child can dip the L part of his left hand (thumb and pointer finger) into the paint. He’ll need to smoosh his hand through the paint to really cover it. If he’s not into the dip and print method, he can use the brush to paint the tempera on. Go with a solid color, mix up a few or paint on rainbow-like blocks.
Childrens crafts

4.     Press your child’s hand onto a piece of paper. When he lifts it up he’ll magically leave behind a letter L print!

Alphabet Craft

Keep the letter L print on hand (no pun intended) to reinforce the direction and print knowledge that he’s gained during this activity. If he forgets which hand is which, remind him of the paint project to help him to figure it out on his own.
Alphabet Activity

Keep the alphabet part of the activity going with a picture book. Your preschooler might enjoy:

·        Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

·        Eric Carle’s ABC by Eric Carle

·        Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson

·        The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni

·        Alphabet Rescue by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood

·        P is for Pirate: A Pirate Alphabet by Eve Bunting and John Manders

·        I Spy: An Alphabet in Art by Lucy Micklethwait

Are you looking for more alphabet art activities? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Letter and Literacy Kids' Crafts on Pinterest.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Famous Artist Kids' Cooking: Cubist Cupcakes

Picasso’s famous art as a cupcake? Yes, indeed. I’m not a talented baker by any stretch of the imagination. My son almost always turns his nose at my brownies, and while my cupcakes are cute, they come from a box. That’s ok. I accept that I’m not a super mom.

Picasso activity
Even though I’m not the best at baking, I enjoy a good artistic cupcake project. I’ve made cupcakes in the styles of Monet and Pollock. Now I’m tackling Picasso’s cubist take on art. Not only can your child express her creativity and learn about the famous artist (and his style), but the baking part includes science and math lessons. Encourage your child to pour the ingredients, measure them up.  When it’s time to pop the cubist cupcakes into the oven, you need to take over and do the actual baking yourself.

I used a ready-made cookie from the bakery for this kids’ cooking activity. My son was nice enough to share an adorable sweet smiley face star cookie with me. But, you and your child can certainly decorate your own. I had the cookie on hand, it saved time and it seemed perfect for this project.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        Cupcake mix—either from a box or your own recipe.

·        White frosting – Again, either from the store or you can make your own favorite recipe.

·        Food coloring

·        A face cookie – Buy a ready-made one or decorate your own with candy eyes or icing.

·        Cupcake tins and liners

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Mix up the cupcake batter. I choose two – chocolate and vanilla.

2.     Divide some of the batter (use a light-colored or white batter) into bowls. Mix food coloring in to make at least three different shades.

3.     Pour the batter into the lined tins. This is where the cubist look starts. Pour at least three different colors in chunks into each liner.

childrens recipe
4.     Bake the cupcakes. Do not allow your child near the hot oven. Do not allow her to handle the hot cupcakes.

5.     Let the cupcakes cool.

Kids' cooking
6.     Spoon the frosting out into two or more bowls. Mix a few drops of food coloring into each bowl.

Sweet treat

7.     Frost the cupcakes. Continue on with the cubist effect by making chunks of colors. Your child can add two, three or more colors to the tops of the cupcakes.

Kids' dessert
8.     Cut the face cookie into pieces.
Happy face
Cubist art
9.     Create a cubist cupcake masterpiece. Have your child place the cookie pieces in a random array on top of the cupcake.

Art Activity
Kids' Desserts
Do you have a favorite cupcake or frosting recipe? Add it to the comments section.

Are you looking for more cupcake ideas? Follow my Pinterest board for cupcakes galore!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Cupcakes! Yum! on Pinterest.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fall Leaf Paint Splatter Kids' Art Activity

When Jackson Pollock first dripped, dribbled and flung paint onto a canvas it’s doubtful he ever envisioned his abstract art techniques being used for a fall themed kids’ art activity. That said, painting with splatters, splishes and splots can help your young artist to learn about this famous masterpiece-maker.
Paint Splatter

As trees change from green to an autumn orange, yellow or red, your child can transform paper leaves from summer to fall colors. What does Jackson Pollock have to do with coloring fall leaves? This activity uses his famous paint-splatter to make plain paper leaves into abstract autumn art.

This is a messy art activity. Prep for the mess before the art-making begins!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        Green construction paper

·        A marker

·        Scissors

·        Tempera paint in red, orange and yellow

·        A paintbrush

·        A paint tray, palette or the top of a plastic-ware container (turn it over and it makes an inexpensive palette)

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Draw a fall leaf onto a piece of green paper with a marker. Your child can draw her own leaf shape or she can trace a real one.
Green art

2.     Cut the leaf out.
Kids' Art

3.     Pour golf ball-sized pools of red, orange and yellow tempera paints onto the palette.
Splatter art

4.     Soak the brush in the first color of paint and fling it onto the leaf. Repeat with the other fall colors. If the paint is too thick to splish and splash easily, add water to it.
Pollock Craft
Paint fall

It’s as easy as that to change green leaves into autumn-colored splatter art! The creative fun doesn’t have to end there. Check back in with me later in the week for a way to turn this colorful plant project into a nature mobile.

Are you looking for more artsy ideas? Follow my Pinterest board for process art that your will inspire and entertain your little artist!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Process Art for Kids on Pinterest.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fall Leaf Tissue Paper Print Art Activity

Even though it seems way too soon, fall is almost here. Get the kids in the autumn spirit with a tissue paper painting project. Non-color-fast tissue paper is kind of the best. Because it doesn’t hold its color, when you get it wet it transfers. What do you get? Instant watercolors!
Leaf art

Kids can turn a plain piece of paper into a fall leaf with red, yellow and orange tissue paper. This printing project requires bright, bold colors – so hold off on soft yellows or pale pinky reds.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        Red, orange and yellow tissue paper – If it says colorfast or it doesn’t bleed, don’t get it. It won’t work for this art activity.

·        White construction paper or cardstock

·        A marker – A permanent marker will hold up when you put the tissue paper on. If you want to add another layer to the DIY watercolor theme, use a washable marker. The colors will blend and mix with the wet tissue.

·        Water

·        A bowl or plastic container

·        Paper towels

·        Scissors

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Draw a leaf onto a piece of paper. Your child should make it at least as large as her hand, preferably bigger.
Fall Craft

2.     Cut the leaf out.

3.     Tear or cut apart the tissue.
Torn paper

4.     Soak a paper towel in water.
Water art

5.     Place the wet towel on the paper leaf and press down gently.

6.     Flatten the tissue paper onto the wet leaf.
Art leaf

7.     Dip another paper towel into a bowl or container of water. Wet the tissue paper-covered leaf with the paper towel.

8.     Let the wet tissue paper sit on the leaf for a half hour or so.
Leaf art

9.     Peel the tissue off to reveal the color underneath. Don’t worry if some of the tissue sticks. This will add a colorful texture to the project.

Are you looking for more creative crafts that your child can try? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Creative Kids Crafts on Pinterest.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Famous Artist Activities for Kids

Famous artists. After years of working in a museum, I’m partial to using some of the greats as inspiration for kids’ art activities. It was super-easy when I had access to galleries filled with real works of art. So, if you’re going on a trip to the museum, these projects make great after-visit activities.

Kids art

What if you’re not going to a museum or don’t live near one? Easy. Search or the artist and artwork online or get a book from your local library. If you don’t have the real deal, swapping in a picture of it works too.

Before your child begins the art-making, ask her a few questions about what she sees when she looks at the famous piece. Keep it open-ended, avoiding anything that has a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Try questions like these:

·        What do you think is going on in this picture?

·        What is happening?

·        What do you see?

·        How do you think the artist made this?

·        What materials do you think that the artist used?

·        Where do you think the artist was when he painted this?

Now that your child is ready to make her own famous art, here are a few of my favorites (click on the name of the activity to read a how-to):

Kids' art

Pop Art

Jackson Pollock paint splatter
Childrens art

Color mixing

Van Gogh clay paint
Clay paint

Claude Monet cupcakes
Art cupcakes

Jackson Pollock cupcakes

Color cupcakes

Are you looking for more famous artist projects? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Famous Artist Kids' Activities on Pinterest.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School Art Supplies for Kids

School is starting soon! You’ve got the notebooks, pencils, pens and cute little locker mirror that your child begged for. But, what about the art supplies? Sure, her art teacher will dole them out during lessons, but that won’t help her when she has to make a model of the solar system or color a poster for  class assignment.
Craft materials

When my son was in kindergarten he had to make a collage flower using a cut paper cup as the petals. You would think that as an art teacher I had a treasure trove of craft supplies at home. I didn’t. What I did have was an enormously huge wall-sized closet of every item a young artist could ever dream of using – at work. At home, I had a few old crusty glue sticks and a mismatched set of markers. So, I had to run out the night before flower was due and get whatever I could rustle up in the grocery store office supply aisle.

Instead of waiting until it’s almost too late, stock up before the school year starts.

There’s an almost endless list of art supplies that your child might possibly need or want. If you know she’ll need a specialty product for a class that she’s taking or a project that you know she’ll do, add that to your list. Here’s a general categorized list of art supplies that your child might need when she goes back to school:


·        Clear drying school glue

·        Glue sticks – Get more than one. They dry out and break easily.

·        Glitter glue – or you can make your own DIY sparkle version.

Writing and Drawing Tools

·        Colored pencils

·        Markers – Thick and thin ones

·        Crayons

·        Oil pastels
Kids' crayons


·        Construction paper

·        Card stock

·        Poster board

·        Fancy papers for collage – Save the scraps so that your child can use them later for other collage projects. Examples include corrugated paper, origami paper or metallic paper.

·        Tissue paper

·        Cardboard – Save your money and reuse old boxes

·        Graph paper – Your child can use it for more than math. She can write letters in the blocks or use it to make her own patterns.

·        Foam sheets – Even though it’s not technically paper – it comes in sheets and your child can write or draw on it.

Paints and Brushes

·        Tempera paints and brushes

Paint rollers

·        Water colors

·        Finger paint

Clay and Modeling Compounds

·        Air dry clay

·        Modeling clay
Modeling clay

·        Model Magic
Clay Play

·        Your own play dough recipe!

Kids' recipe

Extras and Add-Ons

·        Pom poms

·        Glitter

·        Sequins

·        Buttons

·        Beads

·        Felt

·        Pipe cleaners

·        Craft feathers

·        Craft fur

·        Craft sand

Recycled Art Supplies

·        Egg carton – There are so many uses! From a craft sand or glitter caddy to a butterfly body, egg cartons are egg-cellent.
Art Supplies

·        Cardboard – From a box.

·        Fabric scraps

·        Popsicle sticks

·        Foam – The Styrofoam from a fruit or vegetable tray makes an easy printing plate.

Now that you have the supplies, are you looking or creative crafts for your child? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!


Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Creative Kids Crafts on Pinterest.